Service Learning in South Africa

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Learn through meaningful experience

Work alongside locals to learn more about yourself, the community, South Africa, and the world and your place in it. This service learning program will place you in a project that addresses a need or issue identified by the community. You’ll be encouraged to think critically and reflect during your project experience through online service learning coursework. You’ll also participate in a range of social and cultural activities, tours, and trips organized by our wonderful on-site staff.


What to Expect:

  • Language: English
  • Average Courseload: 3-4 U.S. credits (100-140 service hours)
  • GPA Requirement: 2.5
  • Visa Requirements: NONE Required!

Highlights:

  • Form relationships with local communities through service projects
  • 3-4 credits available (100-140 service hours)
  • Enjoy a cosmopolitan city with plenty of beaches
  • Excursions, social outings, and on-site support included
  • Online service learning course available for credit

Internship Placements

Community Development internships available in South Africa

Below are a few sample Community Development placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with Community Development internships
<h4>Assistant at School Serving Autism Spectrum Disorder Learners</h4>

Assistant at School Serving Autism Spectrum Disorder Learners

Assist both in and out of the classroom at a school devoted to providing support and quality education for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In addition to providing daily education and support, the school also prides itself in being a leader in ASD research, enjoying partnerships with top universities. As a classroom assistant, you may be involved in any range of the school’s holistic approach, from instruction and therapies to extracurricular activities. Past projects that participants have been involved with include a peace garden and a crafts class.

Human Rights & Welfare internships available in South Africa

Below are a few sample Human Rights & Welfare placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with Human Rights & Welfare internships
<h4>Project Assistant at Human Rights Organization</h4>

Project Assistant at Human Rights Organization

Work on projects developed by a program manager to address protection and exercising of human rights in South Africa. The organization was founded as a civilian oversight group aimed at restoring public confidence; and developing a culture of human rights, integrity and transparency within the police. The organization offers legal and social services support to other groups, including women’s shelters, refugee centers, and centers supporting ex-offenders. Depending on your background, you may assess and identify potential cases, develop resources for outreach, or assist clients with legal and other advice.

<h4>Assistant Social Worker at Community Development Nonprofit</h4>

Assistant Social Worker at Community Development Nonprofit

Work in a social worker capacity with an organization that has developed a holistic approach to address the challenges faced by communities, filling in holes in policy, systems, and delivery of social services. The group believes that all people – especially youth – should have access to the information, skills and opportunities they need to support themselves, contribute to society development, and avoid involvement in crime. Your role will depend on the group’s needs and your background, but may include tasks such as assessing petty crimes offenders and other marginalized people, assisting mediators with casework for both victims and offenders, and supporting other organizational programming and operations.

<h4>Social Work Assistant at Shelter for Women and Children</h4>

Social Work Assistant at Shelter for Women and Children

Assist with administration, operations, and activities at a Salvation Army-supported shelter that provides support to abused women and children. Help the shelter’s residents find healing and learn skills that will empower them to become self-reliant members of society. Depending on the shelter’s needs and your background, you may find yourself assisting with any of the shelter’s multitude of services: safety, counselling, support groups, access to medical care and legal advice, HIV/Aids counselling, day care, life skills training, and general love and care.

Public Health & Well-being internships available in South Africa

Below are a few sample Public Health & Well-being placements undertaken by past participants. There are many more possibilities, as each placement is customized. Contact an advisor to learn more!

Other countries with Public Health & Well-being internships
<h4>Assistant at Boys’ Youth Care and Education Center</h4>

Assistant at Boys’ Youth Care and Education Center

Support and educate young men who come from a home that can no longer care for them, have been in trouble with the law, or have been identified by social development to receive more remedial education. The boys both attend school and live at the center. The placement may involve assisting with legal cases, tutoring, creating new activities and curricula (i.e. sports, nature therapy, workshops), and shadowing medical staff.

<h4>Health and Life Skills Advocate for Youth Outreach Program</h4>

Health and Life Skills Advocate for Youth Outreach Program

Join an initiative that promotes healthy and considered life choices for youth around sexual behavior, career advice, self-development, nutrition, effective communication, and relationships. Help deliver education and resources to educators, students, and community members to make a positive impact in the lives of the South African youth. Depending on your background and the program’s needs, you may support policy, outreach, and/or education.

<h4>Health Coordinator at Shelter for Women and Children</h4>

Health Coordinator at Shelter for Women and Children

Help the shelter’s residents find healing and learn skills that will empower them emotionally, spiritually, and physically. This role focuses on development and delivery of physical activities, specifically group exercise classes and other fun, active, and empowering activities. You may also log clients’ condition and progress, as well as contribute to other shelter operations.

Program Details

Plymouth State University

A respected New Hampshire university, Plymouth State University is CIS Abroad’s accrediting partner for internship and service learning programs. Plymouth State University is a NEASC-accredited institution with over 20 years of experience awarding internship credit both domestically and internationally. Plymouth State University has been nationally recognized for its commitment to the environment and for innovative programs that are making an impact, both regionally and globally.

Participants will be enrolled in an online Global Service Learning for Credit program in partnership with Plymouth State University.

Course Description

Global, community-based learning combines community service outside the U.S. with academic instruction, focusing on critical, reflective thinking and personal and civic responsibility. In this interdisciplinary course, the student will collaborate with a community partner abroad to complete a signature service project that addresses a significant problem, issue, or question as identified by the local host community.

Prerequisites: Minimum of 60 credit hours completed (generally sophomore status)

Syllabus – IS4220 Signature Project: Global Community-Based Learning

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR COURSES

This one is super easy – there’s just one course! Students will collaborate with a community partner abroad to complete a signature service project that addresses a significant problem, issue, or question as identified by the local host community.

To earn service learning credit from Plymouth State, students MUST do a minimum of 100 service hours (3 credit) or 140 service hours (4 credit). Students MUST be enrolled in the online PSU course in order to do the service learning placement.

COURSE APPROVAL

Make sure to talk with your home university about course and service learning credit approval. Again, to earn service learning credit from PSU, students must do a minimum of 100 service hours. Junior status is also required for this program.

GPA REQUIREMENTS

If your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, don’t despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, you can submit additional application materials to make your case for acceptance.

Prerequisites: Minimum of 60 credit hours completed (generally sophomore status)

Why Life in Cape Town

Cape Town is one of South Africa’s most stunningly beautiful cities. The impressive Table Mountain rises over the city, where cable cars give you tremendous views of the South African coastline. The city itself is cosmopolitan, with easy access to shopping, nature, professional sports, and plenty of beaches.

Cape Town is one of three capital cities of South Africa—the other two being Pretoria and Bloemfonteim—and serves as the legislative branch of government. The city has also played host to major sporting events, including the semifinal matches of the 1995 Rugby World Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Cape Town offers a wealth of opportunities for all kinds of travelers. Vineyards dot the countryside and produce some of the world’s best wines. If you’re a history buff or interested in the cultural side of South Africa, visit museums like Robben Island and District Six Museum. Finally, you can take a guided safari tour, explore one of the many nature reserves, relax on one of the pristine South African beaches, or spend the afternoon greeting penguins who call the region their home.

Live La Vida Local

  • Festivals and Music Gigs

    South Africans love their festivals! Every season offers something special, whether it’s music or fun events; it’s a great way to experience community.

  • Baphumelele Orphanage

    Visit and volunteer at this local orphanage. Participate in their monthly art and yoga program.

  • Long Street

    Lined with Bohemian coffee shops and bookstores, discover why this is the heartbeat of Cape Town’s city center.

  • V&A Waterfront Harbour

    Take a stroll along the harbour, enjoying the sweeping views of the Atlantic.

  • Bo-Kaap Neighbourhood

    Here you can learn how to cook local Cape cuisine!

  • Greenmarket Square

    Shop in this local market and get great bargains for Pan-African crafts.

Housing in Cape Town

Location

You’ll live in a single-occupancy room within a shared residence with other CIS Abroad participants. The residences are located within the city of Cape Town. Other international students might also live in your home.

A daily cleaning service for the communal areas of the house is part of the package. Cleaning personnel does not have access to your room.

Watch Emily’s video tour of her Cape Town apartment to get an idea of what your housing could be like.

COMMUTE

Restaurants, buses, and trains are all located within a close distance to the residence options. And there’s even Uber!

The commuting time to and from the internship varies, but you can expect to commute 20 to 40 minutes on average, although some internships require a slightly longer commute.

Meals

Your apartment comes with a fully-equipped kitchen so you can make your own meals!

Inclusions and Amenities

  • BathroomShared
  • Cleaning Service
  • CommutePublic TransportationUber
  • Desk
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • LaundryOn-site
  • Single Room
  • Television

What's Included

Inclusions

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Service Learning course fee – Plymouth State University
  • Service learning placement and supervision
  • Housing in a communal house with single room
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • Pre-departure and onsite orientation
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Airport pickup
  • On-site support
  • La Vida Local cultural program

Welcome & Orientation

Upon arrival you’ll take part in a comprehensive orientation program. You’ll learn the “do’s and don’ts” of South African life, like how to get around by public transportation, how to stay safe, what to do in case of an emergency and who to contact if you have any questions. We’ll also tell you all about our favorite places in town (restaurants, museums, markets etc). Oh, and you’ll join in on a welcome meal, something traditional and yummy (ever heard of “Bobotie?”) so that you can start to taste the local flavor.

Farewell & Re-Entry Program

Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can be shocking to the system. We’ll walk you through some of the things to expect, rehash your time abroad so that you can remember the highlights and, yep, we’ll feed you again as part of our farewell to South Africa.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CIS Abroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.
Cape Point Nature Reserve

Cape Point Nature Reserve

This reserve marks the southwestern-most tip of the continent. Enjoy dramatic views, deserted beaches, and fantastic hiking trails.

Boulder

Boulder's Beach

This sheltered beach is made up of gigantic granite boulders which provides calm waters for swimming. You’ll have to share the beach with the African penguins who nest there.

Table Mountain

Table Mountain

Ride up the cable car in Cape Town’s famed National Park. It won’t be hard to see why it’s called Table Mountain.

Site Director

Sonya Bell
Travel Tip:

To really experience local culture, no matter where you are in the world, always watch where the locals go for lunch – they usually go for the best local cuisine at the most affordable prices. Also, always be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut.

Travel Tip:

To really experience local culture, no matter where you are in the world, always watch where the locals go for lunch – they usually go for the best local cuisine at the most affordable prices. Also, always be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut.

About:

On completion and graduating with a National Diploma in Travel and Tourism, Sonya decided to travel the world. Participating in a cultural exchange program led her to Vail, Colorado, where a 4-month working visa allowed her to experience what being away from home was all about. Upon returning home, Sonya worked for many years in both the airline industry and tourism in Cape Town, and has now ventured into self-employment by being appointed as an Accredited Assessor for the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. Excited to be able to tap into her own experience in working abroad, Sonya enjoys offering support and guidance to those embarking on new journeys, forming new relationships, and showing off her beautiful home country – as well as spending time with her husband and two fur babies.

Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team
Travel Tip:

We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us—be it through a text, phone call, email or personal visit—you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Michelle Everard
Travel Tip:

Journal, journal, journal! Write down the little things, the strange details & whatever made you laugh. It’s the little things that make a trip amazing and are easily the most forgotten.

Linda Hallbäck
Travel Tip:

Be patient with yourself and kind to those you meet along the way. Show gratitude daily, laugh often, and give thanks for the journey you are on. There will be hard days, but remember, the magic is in the journey and each day makes that journey complete. Smile!

Dates & Prices

ADVISOR TIP: Please WAIT to book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Application Deadline:
    EXTENDED!Feb 15
    Feb 1
  • Arrival: May 9
  • Departure: July 4
  • Price: $6,790
  • Application Deadline:
    EXTENDED!Mar 15
    Feb 15
  • Arrival: May 30
  • Departure: July 25
  • Price: $6,790
  • Application Deadline: Feb 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: May 9 (Estimated)
  • Departure: July 4 (Estimated)
  • Price: $6,790 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: Feb 15 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: May 30 (Estimated)
  • Departure: July 25 (Estimated)
  • Price: $6,790 (Estimated)
Additional Information:

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

CIS Abroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.